Danger of Fish Spa Foot Therapy

PETALING JAYA: Soaking your aching feet after a hard day’s work with therapy at a fish spa may be a relaxing treat but recent news reports in London show that such activities might expose a person to infection.
Commenting on the issue, Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Hasan Abdul Rahman told reporters the risk of a person being infected by skin, blood or water borne diseases at such spas was “definitely there”.
“The reports say Hepatitis B and other skin bacteria could be transmitted at fish spas if they don’t regularly change the water,” he said after launching an anti-dengue awareness campaign yesterday.

“The problem is the water is filled with fish. Therefore, they cannot add chemicals to kill bacteria as it would kill the fish.
“It is unhygienic, at least for public use. Personal use on the other hand is a different matter.”
Dr Hasan confirmed the ministry would conduct regular inspections on spas providing such treatment, at least every six months.
The issue was highlighted in London newspapers recently when the United Kingdom Health Protection Agency discovered the treatment could put people with weak immune systems or underlying medical conditions at risk.
Fish spa therapy is a popular tourist attraction in Malaysia found in many shopping centres especially in the Bukit Bintang Golden Triangle area.
During treatment, customers place their feet in tanks of warm, fresh water containing dozens of tiny scavenger fish which clean and exfoliate the skin.
Source: Malaymail

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